The pandemic & creativity

It’s been an interesting eighteen months. It’s an understatement to say that the pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives, but recently I’ve been looking back and taking note of its effect on my creative process and how it’s impacted my workflow.
   
In our first Level 4 Lockdown in March last year, I couldn’t create a thing. My studio quickly turned into my work desk for my 9-5 day job, and the whole feeling of the room changed. I couldn’t muster up the energy to create when it felt like the world was on fire, there was so much uncertainty, and I  constantly felt stressed. My day job consumed my time and bled over into all other aspects of my life.
Then came the guilt of not utilising all the time I was spending at home; I felt like I should be creating, and then I felt like a bad artist for not wanting to create. It was suffocating to my creativity. 
It wasn’t until life started to resume to ‘normal’ that I felt like picking up my paints again and even then it took me a long time to create something that I felt good about. The longer I’m away from creating, the harder and more daunting it is to get back into. I had to let go of expectations and remind myself that we are living through a crazy, strange, and stressful time and that taking time to process was necessary too.
   
I was thankful for having a good basis of creative friends who I was able to turn to, who were all going through similar stories and their support was invaluable.
   
I’ve become more intentional with my work and my time. When I feel creative, I take advantage of the feeling and I turn all my efforts to creating. I paint as much as I can while the feeling is there. Other days my energy shifts, and I use the time for documentation and getting the artworks ready to be shared, and delving into the administrative side of the business. 
    
It’s a slower process that gives each area the space it needs and gives me the time to enjoy each stage. Before, it was everything, all the time, all at once. It was exhausting and overwhelming and not sustainable. 
I’m currently in the documentation stage with my landscape collection, with a few last wisps of creating still showing up here and there, but on a much smaller scale. Next, it'll be onto selling and promoting my work, and then to a new addition to my workflow: rest, recovery and time to reset before the creative circle starts again.